Sebastian Korda achieved his latest career milestone at the Miami Open, where the 20-year-0ld American reached his first Masters 1000 quarterfinal.

"This week showed me that I can keep up and play with the biggest names in tennis," he said following a defeat to in-form Russian Andrey Rublev on Thursday.

Though his meteoric rise began in earnest last fall when he qualified for Roland Garros and made it into the second week, the former junior Australian Open champion and son of two elite tennis players—1998 Australian Open champion Petr Korda and former world No. 26 Regina Rajchrtova—has been seemingly destined for stardom, particularly since he made eight-time major champion Andre Agassi his mentor.


"We have a really special relationship together," he said after scoring a first career Top 10 win over Diego Schwartzman. "He's a special person to me. He really helps my game, especially mentally and seeing the court and certain situations when I showed what I shouldn't be doing.

"He's a great guy. He's a really positive person around me, and I love positivity."

Korda's pre-season training bloc spent with Agassi in Las Vegas is looked at as an obvious turning point towards his 2021 success, having started the year ranked outside the Top 100 and is now tentatively set to earn his latest career-high ranking of No. 64 on Monday. Agassi was also on call alongside his father and Dean Goldfine, his USTA coach, to help him prepare to play Schwartzman, who he ultimately overcame in three physical sets.

"It was really special to kind of meet him and to pick at his brain a little bit. We went to a lot of dinners and we spent a lot of time together.

"He's a special person to me. He's been a super big help for me and my mentality on court."

Korda has also benefitted from advice given by Radek Stepanek, another former ATP pro who his father coached just as his young son began to consider switching to tennis from ice hockey.

"My first real tennis memory was when I came here with Radek, and I thought it was the coolest thing because he played Bobby Reynolds first round, and it was like 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, and I thought the scoreline was the coolest thing."

Stepanek actually won 7-5, 6-7 (3), 6-2, but beyond the numbers, Korda calls Stepanek a brother—no idle compliment from one brought up in a family so close, he hashtags them as the #Kordashians on social media. When his sisters joined the LPGA golf tour, father Petr famously served as eldest Jessica's caddy at the 2008 US Open.


The former ATP world No. 2 plays a similarly important role when it comes to "Sebi's" career.

"I mean, he's still my dad," said the youngest of the Korda family. "He has a big say in a lot of the things that I do, and I try to listen as much as I can. I mean, my dad is still the main guy on my team. He still kind of controls and overlooks everything.

"I think the way that we're doing everything is the right way for me, and it might not be the right way for someone else, but I love the way that my dad does things and how he thinks. He thinks completely different, schedule-wise and playing time and all this, compared to everyone else. So we have a really good set-up going, and hopefully we can keep doing it and keep going in the right direction."


In the years to come, both Agassi and his father will undoubtedly occupy major real estate in Korda's origin story, but the youngster was clear in crediting his mental game to mother Regina, who twice reached the second week of the US Open.

"I think ever since I was a kid my mom was really big into kind of having a poker face on court and not showing any negative emotions. Obviously positive emotions are always great, but I think my mom was really big on that.

"I have her to thank for that, because I think it's a really big strength for me that the opponent doesn't really know what's happening on the other side of the court. I try to use it to my favor."

Korda, whose Miami campaign included a quarterfinal run in doubles with Michael Mmoh, next heads to the European clay swing, where the family vibes will remain strong as he attempts to build on his French Open breakthrough.

"Both my parents, they are European and kind of our whole family is European, so being in Europe is like home for me basically. If I have to spend a lot of time there, I'm fine with it."

Korda credits 
family, Agassi 
after Miami run

Korda credits family, Agassi after Miami run